Open Thread: The Yammering Yam Stands Alone

Reince has already deleted that tweet, but I’m sure its replacement will be just as risible.



Open Thread: (Character) Assassins on the Loose in Indiana!

This is 2016, and #LeeHarveyOswald is trending on Twitter, because such is the state of the Republican presidential campaign. Per Politico:

Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963…

“I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”

Trump’s tangent followed his rebuke of Rafael Cruz using the pulpit to court evangelicals for his son.

“I implore, I exhort every member of the body of Christ to vote according to the word of God and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America,” Rafael Cruz said in a video clip aired by Fox News. “And I am convinced that man is my son, Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America.”

Asked to respond, Trump called it a disgrace. “I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it,” he said, before touting his support from Jerry Falwell Jr. and other evangelical leaders.

“You look at so many of the ministers that are backing me, and they’re backing me more so than they’re backing Cruz, and I’m winning the evangelical vote,” Trump continued. “It’s disgraceful that his father can go out and do that. And just — and so many people are angry about it. And the evangelicals are angry about it, the way he does that.”…

Failgunner Ted promptly returned fire, per the LA Times:

“This man is a pathological liar,” Cruz said. “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”…

Cruz called Trump “a narcissist at a level that I don’t think this country has ever seen. … Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald.” Not only that, Cruz said, Trump is “utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him.”…

For good measure, Cruz also called Trump a “serial philanderer.”

“And he boasts about it … describes his battle with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam,” Cruz added…

Me, I’m rooting for injuries. But the Sad! part — to quote one contestant — is that we all know where this will devolve, once Cruz has lost his final primaries…



Late Night Open Thread: Disarray! (But Not Among Democrats)

From the Politico article:

More than 60 percent of the American public has an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, an increase from last fall and the highest that the party’s negative rating has been since 1992.

Sixty-two percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of the GOP compared to 33 percent who view the party favorably, according to a Pew Research Center study released Thursday. That’s a more negative image of the party than in October, when there was a split of 58 percent unfavorable to 37 percent favorable…

Pew found that the falling image of the GOP mostly came from people who identified as Republican, 68 percent of whom had a favorable view of their own party versus 79 percent in October.

In contrast, 88 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of their own party. And more independents – 37 percent to 28 percent – have a favorable image of the Democratic Party compared to the GOP…

Keep calm and GOTV on!



Open Thread: Some Ideas Really Are Too Stupid Not to Curb-Stomp Fisk

I put Walker Bragman’s latest Salon post in the “Life Is Too Short” pile, but fortunately Wonkette has done the hard work of comprehensively dissecting it

Dear Salon, Set Your Dick On Fire And Eat It
The granddaddy of liberal internet news sites, Salon, has taken time off from begging the FBI to put Hillary Clinton in email jail, and urging young folk to skip voting this year if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, and is instead inviting you to consider, hey? Why not vote for Donald Trump? He may be a fascist, but there is one thing about him you cannot deny, and that is that Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton. Salon ain’t lyin’! Vote Donald Trump, you guys, for all the many good reasons laid out by Walker Bragman (the non-Haha Goodman half of the He Man Hillary Hater Bois Club) in his masterpiece, “A Liberal Case for Donald Trump: The Lesser of Two Evils Is Not at All Clear in 2016″…

Go read the whole thing, because it is glorious, and will get you in the mood for tonight’s #NerdProm.



Open Thread: On the Delicate Honor of Donald Trump, and His Most Fervent Supporters

I always enjoy Julia Ioffe’s journalism for her deadpan Sancho Panza/Twelve Chairs wit. When I read she was being twitter-mobbed by antisemitic Trump followers, I assumed their grievance would be associated with her latest Foreign Policy article, “On Trump, Gefilte Fish, and World Order”:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I was eating my mother’s gefilte fish while watching Donald Trump’s foreign-policy address Wednesday afternoon. First, it was lunchtime; second, it is Passover; and third, the fish patties in front of me — an amalgam of lots of different ingredients (porgy, rockfish, matzo meal) that, mashed together, resemble nothing immediately recognizable as naturally occurring food — couldn’t help but echo the strange consistency of the policy combinations Trump put forward.

Punctuating his carefully scripted speech with Trumpian bursts of “believe me” and “very bad” — consider them bright bits of rhetorical magenta horseradish — Trump set out his vision of America in the world: America first, but America everywhere. America cutting down on its debt, but also expanding its standing army and revamping its nuclear arsenal. America standing up to China, but also striking an alliance with it. America supporting its allies, but also cracking down on them. America being restrained and judicious in its use of force, but also getting involved militarily and fighting to win…

Should’ve known better; the piece that so offended Der Trumpfuhrer’s fans was an apparently anodyne GQ profile of the woman a Stormfront blogger called “our Empress Melania”:

Back then, in 2005, it didn’t seem odd that she and Donald Trump would mark their happy occasion with the former president and First Lady, then a senator from New York. “When they went to our wedding, we were private citizens,” Melania reminds me. Just two private citizens getting hitched at the groom’s 126-room Florida palace. He in a tux; she in a $100,000 Dior dress that laborers’ hands had toiled upon for a legendary 550 hours, affixing 1,500 crystals—jewels fit for private citizens like them. A pair of ordinary people, really, uniting in matrimony in the presence of Rudy Giuliani and Kelly Ripa, as Billy Joel serenaded the couple and guests slurped caviar and Cristal in the shadow of a five-foot-tall Grand Marnier wedding cake.

Those were, in some ways, simpler times. But things change quickly—which is perhaps the enduring fact of Melania Trump’s entire improbable life—and when your husband works up a plan to make America great again, the very same Clintons you once smiled with on your wedding day can now become your family’s mortal enemies. And you can think, as Melania Trump says she does, that it’s no huge deal, really. “This is it, what it is,” Melania tells me. “It’s all business now; it’s nothing personal.”…
Read more



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Schadenfreude for Breakfast

three repubs in a tub toles

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
.

And there’s so much of it, right now. Politico reports that “Trump rejects new adviser’s push to make him ‘presidential’”:

Trump became upset late last week when he learned from media reports that Manafort privately told Republican leaders that the billionaire reality TV star was “projecting an image” for voters and would begin toning down his rhetoric, according to the sources. They said that Trump also expressed concern about Manafort bringing several former lobbying colleagues into the campaign, as first reported by POLITICO.

Now Trump is taking steps to return some authority to Manafort’s chief internal rival, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Neither Lewandowski nor Manafort responded to requests for comment, though Manafort on Sunday during an interview on Fox News blamed Lewandowski’s regime for shortcomings in the campaign’s delegate wrangling operation. Lewandowski’s allies responded by privately questioning whether Manafort has done anything to improve the situation. They grumble that Manafort has spent a disproportionate amount of time on television — just as Trump himself has been avoiding the Sunday morning talk show circuit at Manafort’s urging.

“I think it pisses him off that he was getting free television by going on the shows and now Paul Manafort is out there resurrecting his career,” said one campaign operative. Citing Manafort’s advocacy within the campaign for an expensive advertising push in upcoming states, the operative said Trump is “saying I can get on every show I want for free and you’re telling me not to do that and that I should pay for my advertising? That doesn’t pass the smell test to me.”

The mounting tension comes as Trump is struggling to incorporate traditional political tactics with the cult-of-personality approach that helped him climb from long shot to front-runner for the GOP nomination. In some ways, Manafort and Lewandowski represent the ego and the id of that balance, with the hardscrabble outsider Lewandowski earning Trump’s trust early, only to be challenged by the more polished insider brought in late last month to provide help as Trump’s campaign struggled to secure loyal convention delegates…

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Anyone wants to take bets on when the Lewandowski/Manafort spat moves beyond the metaphorical pissing matches to an actual fist fight? And has Roger Stone started the betting book already?



Open Thread: Trump Goes to Pander Pittsburgh

Despite all forebodings, it looks like the biggest misfire at today’s rally came from Trump’s mouth, per SB*Nation:

Donald Trump was either trying to say something that didn’t come out quite right or was very misinformed when he asked a crowd in Pittsburgh “How’s Joe Paterno?” Paterno, of course, died in 2012. Trump has tweeted about Paterno before and claims to have known him personally, making the comment on Wednesday even more odd…

Some local commuters might’ve been feeling slightly murderous, though, according to USA Today:

Hundreds of demonstrators awaited Trump backers outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, dancing and shouting epithets about the presidential hopeful. At the height of the chaos, police shoved and Trump backers lingered for confrontations.

A drum pounded, signs waved and megaphones blared near an exit for the rally, which drew thousands of attendees. Trump backers and protesters shouted as each other in some areas. In others, the demonstration had an almost jubilant flair, with protesters dancing as they chanted: “Hey hey, ho ho, racist bigots have to go,” or “F*** Donald Trump.”

The timing of the Trump rally could not have been worse for downtown traffic: A Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game were also underway…

Inside, the Trump rally had been among the least lively of his campaign. One protester disrupted Trump’s downtown event, held just under two weeks before the state’s Republican primary. Several anti-Trump activists stood silently inside the convention hall exit with their fists raised in the air…